Trivia

Hard

Which Creature’s Fingerprints Are Virtually Indistinguishable From A Human’s?

Gorillas
Chimpanzees
Lemurs
Koalas
A comparison between koala and human fingerprints that shows the similarities.
Macie Hennenberg, et al. and naturalSCIENCE/Live Science

Answer: Koalas

Textured ridges on the tips of the fingers, or fingerprints, are a common trait among primates. Humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas all have them. We could say that fingerprints are distinct to the primate family, except for their presence on koalas, those adorable Australian marsupials.

Even more interesting is that among all other animals with fingerprints, it is the koala that has fingerprints most similar to those of humans. So similar, in fact, that beneath the eye of a trained forensics specialist or even an electron microscope, they appear indistinguishable from each other. The photo above shows a comparison, both in standard fingerprint form and under an electron microscope, of human and koala fingerprints. The comparison, courtesy of researcher Macie Hennenberg, shows an adult male koala on the left and an adult male human on the right.

What’s particularly fascinating about koalas’ fingerprints is that they appear to be a recent (relatively speaking) evolutionary adaptation. While members of the primate family have fingerprints, other members of the marsupial family (to which the koala belongs) do not. This indicates that koalas developed fingerprints long after primates and modern koalas’ marsupial ancestors branched apart 70 million years ago. Like primates who have hands and digits adapted for grasping, the koala also spends much of its time grasping, and very sensitive and grippy fingertips, prints and all, help with that.

Trivia

Hard

The First Spy Satellite Images Were Retrieved By?

Trivia

Hard

Which Celebrity Named His Daughter After A Video Game Heroine?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Pigments Is Also A Life Saving Medicine?

Trivia

Very Hard

The World’s Largest Wayfinding “You Are Here” Map Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

Who Was Fox Contractually Obligated To Offer The Role Of John McClain In Die Hard To?

Trivia

Hard

Which Consumer Product Maintained An Unusually Stable Price For Almost A Century?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Company Did Google Almost Sell Out To For Less Than A Million Dollars?

Trivia

Hard

Hidden Within The Brooklyn Bridge Are Vaults Originally Used To Store?

Trivia

Hard

The SEGA Saturn Featured Fewer Game Titles Because Of What?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Is The Oldest Manmade Object In Earth Orbit?